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The instrumental corresponds to the preposition "with":

técantë tecilden "they are writing with a pen"

But not all uses of the preposition "with" correspond to an instrumental, only when the underlying meaning is "with the help of" or "by means of" this case is used.

For example the sentence:

cennenyet as elda "I saw them with an elf"

In this sentence we mean that they were together with an elf, not that I was using an elf to see them better.

Sometimes the instrumental corresponds to the English preposition "through":

lassi lantar i súrinen "leaves fall through the wind"

In the passive voice (see Syntaxis) the instrumental is also used for the agent and in English the agent is expressed by the preposition "by".

Except for the instrumental the preposition "with" can be translated into Quenya in several ways:

  • ownership: arwa/arwë with a genitive:
nauco arwa harmo "a dwarf with a treasure"
  • "together with": as (used with a singular)/yo (used with plural, dual):
matin as atarinya "I eat with my father"
matin yo nildonyar "I eat with my friends"
lenden óso i ostonna "I went with her to town"
The complete list is:
óni "with me"
ólë "with you"
ómë "with us"
ótë "with them"
óta/ót "with it"
óso/ósë/ós "with him/her"


We discuss each of the numbers separately:


The basic ending is -nen. So after vowels this case is equal to the dative with an extra -en

tári "queen" → tárinen
vendë "girl" → vendenen

When a noun ends on -r or -n, we add -nen:

atar "father" → atarnen
elen "star" → elennen

or has a stem-form on -m, -r or -n:

talan "floor" → talamnen (stem-form talam-)
olos "dream" → olornen (stem-form olor-)

The instrumental of contracted stems doesn't use the stem-form but the nominative singular:

toron "brother" → toronnen (stem-form torn-)

When a noun or its stem-form ends on -p, -c or -t, we apply nasal inversion (see Quenya/Past Tense):

ecet "short sword" → ecenten
filit "little bird" → filincen (stem-form filic-)

When a noun ends in -l, the ending becomes -den:

macil "sword" → macilden

Other nouns ending on a consonant have -enen as ending:

arquilis "desert" → arquilisenen
nís "woman" → nissenen (stem-form niss-)


In the plural we always add -en to the dative:

macil "sword" → macilin → macilinen
elda "elf" → eldain → eldainen

(note: this ending forms a diphthong when the noun ends in -a, -o or -u)

The exceptions are regular once you know the dative:

lassë "leaf" → lassín → lassínen
mornië "darkness" → mornín → mornínen
tári "queen" → tárín → tárínen
lómë "night" → lómín → lómínen


In the dual we also add -en to the dative:

aldu "a pair of trees" → aldun → aldunen (nom.sing.: alda)
ciryat "a pair of ships" → ciryant → ciryanten (nom.sing.: cirya)
aranet "a pair of kings" → aranent → aranenten (nom.sing.: aran)

Partitive Plural[edit]

When the nominative partitive plural ends in -lli, the instrumental ends in -llinen:

toron "brother" → torollitorollinen
macil "sword" → macillimacillinen

When the nominative partitive plural only has a single l before the final i then the instrumental ends in -línen:

cirya "ship" → ciryaliciryalínen
sarat "sign" → saratelisaratelínen

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